Oxfordshire’s greenspace-deprived neighbourhoods

A new report which has just been launched explores Natural England’s Green Infrastructure data to identify neighbourhoods in Oxfordshire experiencing both socio-economic deprivation and poor provision of accessible greenspace, with a view to these neighbourhoods being prioritised in terms of planning, allocation of funding, and effort for improving quality and quantity of accessible greenspace.

Research at the interface of indigenous and western science in the Amazonian Peatlands

Our researchers, Aoife Bennet and Jesus Aguirre-Gutierrez, along with partners in Peru are empirically applying an intercultural interdisciplinary mapping methodology “Non Oñamboan Joi” for assessing nature recovery potential in the Amazon.

More about the project here


Bending the curves – balancing nature, economy and society, from the bottom up

Bending the curve of biodiversity decline, ie. halting and reversing loss, has been adopted as the mission for the Global Biodiversity Framework. While conservation and restoration are necessary to achieve this, they are not sufficient and this talk focuses on the two sets of actions that need far greater attention – a) bending and reversing the drivers of biodiversity decline, which requires primary focus on indirect drivers, in particular overconsumption, and b) redressing equity imbalances. Both entail specific responsibilities and actions, by those who over-consume, and for those who under-consume. Focusing on healthy and sufficient nature at square kilometre scales provides a direct approach to address these issues, providing tangible opportunities to revert financial capital into natural capital to nature, economy and society for a sustainable future.


Building collaborations with Indigenous and Local Communities using Extreme Citizen Science – Jerome Lewis

This talk will describe the work of the Extreme Citizen Science Research Group designing and testing solutions for building effective collaborations with Indigenous People and local communities in the context of local conservation initiatives, extractive industry, human rights abuses, or to address the impacts of climate and environmental change on local livelihoods.

Soil Ecology from the microbe’s eye view

Edith Hammer

Discusses how ‘soil chips’ enable us to study the influence of trophic interactions such as the presence of predators on bacterial and fungal nutrient cycling, and various predation strategies of protists otherwise difficult to culture. Beyond the scientific potential, the chips can also bring soils closer to people aiming to make more to appreciate their beauty and increase engagement in soil health conservation.

Captured sunshine: what can an energetic view of life on Earth tell us about nature decline/recovery

Yadvinder Malhi

This talk explores this potential with a focus on plants, birds and mammals, the best documented taxonomic groups, in the context of terrestrial ecosystems. I draw on examples from Wytham Woods, intact and logged tropical forests in Borneo, and a broad regional examination of sub-Saharan Africa. An energetic approach to understanding life an earth can yield some surprising and provocative insights into our changing biosphere.

WEBINAR: Unlocking the power of engagement for nature recovery and nature-based solutions

This webinar is relevant for anyone working in the on-the-ground delivery, design and/or strategy of a broad range of nature recovery and nature-based solutions projects which aim to benefit both people and nature. This includes conservation, restoration, rewilding, urban greening, community gardening, sustainable forestry, regenerative agriculture, and more. It is aimed at practitioners working on any project which seeks to engage a diversity of stakeholders and relevant parties at different scales including local communities, members of the public, farmers and land managers, non-governmental organisations, charities, businesses, local authorities, and government bodies.

For more information please visit: https://www.agile-initiative.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Recipe-for-Engagement.pdf

Land tenure, deforestation, & monocultures:Menaces to food & territorial justice.

Lena Lazos-Chavero

The fragility and uncertainty of land tenure in many countries have provoked the risks of land grabbing, either for expanding monocultures, accelerating deforestation rates, or for the establishment of protected areas for conservation. Here, Elena Lazos-Chavero concentrates on the consequences of the enlargement of monocultures within the changing dynamics of the food regimes on the food and territorial justice, particularly among small-scale farmers in Mexico.

Recovery of degraded coastal ecosystems requires more than protection.

Tundi Agardy

Recovery of degraded coastal ecosystems requires so much more than protection – how restoration and conservation go hand-in-hand.

Mycorrhizas and ecosystem functioning.

Dr Laura Martinez-Suz, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The impact of plants on ecosystem functioning is mediated by mycorrhizas, intimate plant-fungal associations formed by most plants and a diverse subset of soil fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi play a key role in terrestrial ecosystems by enhancing plant access to soil nutrients and water but also as regulators of the carbon cycle. However, these belowground fungi are affected by environmental and anthropogenic changes, with potential consequences on the roles they develop in our ecosystems. In this seminar, I will talk about the main drivers and threats of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in forests, the impact of changes in these communities in forest functioning and the research we are doing to measure, understand and predict the contribution of different mycorrhizal fungi to carbon sequestration in soils for habitat ecosystem assessment.